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Subject: What rules to use for a first play? rss

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Galen Deal
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I just got a copy of this game and I plan to play a 2-player game with my roommate tomorrow. Neither of us have played this game before, so I'm trying to figure out exactly which rules to use/not use. I've read in a few places that, when you're first starting out, it's good to just play a basic game with nothing added in. This is what I would be inclined to do - just the rules as written in the included rulebook - but I've also read elsewhere about a couple of rules changes that seem to be widely considered positive changes - namely increasing the income action to 2 WT from 1 and busting Luna and Mars in 2-player games.

What do people think about those two rules (or any others that I haven't mentioned)? Are those ones worth straying from the basic rules as written? I also see that the flyby rules are only supposed to be used in colonization, but would they be suitable for the base game? This was the one other rule I was considering adding as, since both my roommate and I have played quite a lot of Kerbal Space Program and are fairly intuitively familiar with boosts from flybys, I think it would make more sense to have them than to exclude them (assuming that they are not in the basic game for reasons of complexity rather than balance).
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Wulf Corbett
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The Flyby & Moon Boost rules are very simple, and marked on the map, so you don't forget them. Very easy to add.

Busting the Moon & Mars will force players to extend their ambitions and prevent the situation where the first rocket in flight easily dominates the game. However, it's more a matter of style of play and player ambition - if you're unlikely to grab the closest sites just to win the game, it will have little effect.

Increasing income will speed the game up, no doubt.
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Jonathan Harrison
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I suggest starting with working spaceships and skipping the opening auctioning.

The auctions at the outset slowed our first game horrifically. It was too much to process the first time around. Even an open draft from all available cards would have been better.
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Phil Eklund
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taekwondeal wrote:
I just got a copy of this game and I plan to play a 2-player game with my roommate tomorrow. Neither of us have played this game before, so I'm trying to figure out exactly which rules to use/not use. I've read in a few places that, when you're first starting out, it's good to just play a basic game with nothing added in. This is what I would be inclined to do - just the rules as written in the included rulebook - but I've also read elsewhere about a couple of rules changes that seem to be widely considered positive changes - namely increasing the income action to 2 WT from 1 and busting Luna and Mars in 2-player games.

What do people think about those two rules (or any others that I haven't mentioned)? Are those ones worth straying from the basic rules as written? I also see that the flyby rules are only supposed to be used in colonization, but would they be suitable for the base game? This was the one other rule I was considering adding as, since both my roommate and I have played quite a lot of Kerbal Space Program and are fairly intuitively familiar with boosts from flybys, I think it would make more sense to have them than to exclude them (assuming that they are not in the basic game for reasons of complexity rather than balance).


I agree with Wulf, & I recommend one of two options:
1. Use the Basic rules as written. If you wish, you may add fly-bys or other advanced rules from the rulebook.
2. Use the Alive and Complete Basic Rules. These rules have been re-formatted so they are easier for the beginner to understand. Also the A + C rules increase the income from 1 WT (water tank) to 2 WT, which makes for faster development & also integrates better to the Colonization Game, should you ever wish to play that version. I have sent you an invitation to the A + C GoogleDocs for the Basic and Colonization Games.
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Blazing Apostle
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May I suggest watching the Rahdo runs through video as well before you play.
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Galen Deal
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Thanks a lot for the responses! It makes me very happy to see the designer taking such an active role in the community and answering questions like this directly.


As for busting Luna and Mars, the main reason I'm worried about doing it is because my roommate that I will be playing with is very interested in human colonization of Mars (he follows SpaceX very closely and Robert Zubrin's The Case for Mars is one of his favorite books) so I want to avoid preventing him from being able to do anything on Mars unless it's really necessary. If it's just an issue of game balance making victory too easy for whoever gets there first, I may just allow it and say going into the game that I'm not going to worry overmuch about scoring lots of points and doing really well, instead focusing on just understanding the systems and having fun flying rockets around, and I'll suggest that he do the same.


Blazing Apostle: I did watch Rahdo's video. As always, it was very informative, and I think gave me a huge headstart in understanding how the game works.
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Jay Sachs
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Is the Google Docs version of A+C more publically available, for the Word-challenged among us?
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Chris Berger
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phileklund wrote:
2. Use the Alive and Complete Basic Rules. These rules have been re-formatted so they are easier for the beginner to understand. Also the A + C rules increase the income from 1 WT (water tank) to 2 WT, which makes for faster development & also integrates better to the Colonization Game, should you ever wish to play that version. I have sent you an invitation to the A + C GoogleDocs for the Basic and Colonization Games.


Additionally, the A&C Basic rules increase the Free Market Action to 4 WT, and change the ET production rules quite a bit - you no longer choose a factory product when you build a factory and there is no more retooling. Instead, when you take an ET Production op, you choose any card in your hand with the appropriate spectral type and produce it on its black side at the chosen site. IMHO, these are both very positive rules changes as well as the 2 WT per income op.

I think there is a minor change to the factory-assisted takeoff and landing rules as well.
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Phil Eklund
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jaysachs wrote:
Is the Google Docs version of A+C more publically available, for the Word-challenged among us?

Send an email to phileklund@gmail.com to get invited to the A + C googledocs.
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Joe Thompson
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jaysachs wrote:
Is the Google Docs version of A+C more publically available, for the Word-challenged among us?


You can read it using Libre Office.
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